Taproot's sophomore project is a 12-track battle between soft and violent narration about personal demons and relationships. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based quartet's hard-rock style is both melodic and ly

Taproot's sophomore project is a 12-track battle between soft and violent narration about personal demons and relationships. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based quartet's hard-rock style is both melodic and lyrically contemplative and takes constructive risks within each song. Take, for instance, the opening track, "Mine"; the song begins with a heavy guitar riff, then breaks into a lower-tempo, expressive verse sung by vocalist Stephen Richards. Its chorus then comes on hard musically and with a gruff and growly "you're mine" refrain. Each track is a similar mixture of hard and soft, which makes for an aurally interesting listening experience. Notable tunes include "Sumtimes," which grapples with the issue of self-esteem; "Like," one of the album's slower pieces about a growing relationship; and "Everything," which depicts

the dark side of obsession.—JK

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